Why I Chose to Lead with Pornography

The last week of April I attended and exhibited at Fund Conference ATX.  I knew from the Exhibitor Information Email that all 100 exhibiting companies would have the opportunity to give a 30 second pitch to the audience and that the top 10 (determined by voting) would have the opportunity to give a second, 60 second pitch, but that was all the detail I was given.

And so, around 11am on April 26th I found myself standing in a long line of founders that snaked around the back of the stage through the speakers “green room” and into the exhibit hall.  I was exhibitor number 76 - with 75 founders in front of me and 24 behind me. I looked at the long line of founders, most silently practicing their pitches with mouths moving and bodies pacing or swaying as they worked out their nerves, and I realized that by the time I got to the stage, the audience (or whoever was left of the audience) would have already heard 40 minutes worth of 30 second pitches.  At that point, would they really be hearing anything at all? I knew I had to say something to get their attention and something they would remember. So, I made the “game-time” decision to scrap my practiced 30 second pitch and lead with,

“Here’s a shocking fact: The average age that boys are exposed to pornography is 10.  
Not surprisingly, it’s also the average age kids get their first smartphone.”

While this is a true statement and it has come up in conversations when we talk about Yip Yap, it’s not something I generally lead with or even something on my mental list of “be sure to cover this” topics.  I prefer to lead with the value of helping kids connect safely with the people they love, like traveling parents, split families, grandparents, and friends. But I did it anyway. I gave the shocking fact about pornography exposure to an audience of investors at Fund Conference ATX...and I moved onto round two of the pitches!

As a parent of  two boys and two girls ages 5-12, access to inappropriate content is a real concern of mine and it’s one of the things that keeps me motivated to continue building Yip Yap.  

There are some things in a child’s life that cannot be un-seen. And the fact is when it comes to our kids, it doesn’t have to be pornography to be explicit or inappropriate. It could be news of the most recent school shooting, images of victims of disasters, an advertisement for erectile dysfunction medication, and the list goes on. The child’s age, the child’s maturity, and the family media culture are all factors to be considered in determining what is or is not appropriate for a child.   But who gets to make those decisions?

At Yip Yap, we believe that parents, not media or tech companies, know what is best for their child, so we empower parents to effectively manage their child’s digital experience.

Our pitch doesn’t include start-up buzz words like Block Chain, Bit Coin, AI or VR, but that doesn’t mean that what we are doing isn’t valuable, relevant, and a great opportunity for investors. I needed a way to get the audience’s attention and it worked. Yip Yap moved on to the second round of pitches and then we won the competition out of 100 companies!  

Yip Yap Wins at FUND Conference

The reality is smartphones are not going away, so it’s time that we rethink the way we introduce kids to mobile technology and at Yip Yap, that’s exactly what we are doing!  

If you’d like to learn more, please email me at angela@yipyap.com or watch the Yip Yap Kids app explainer video below:


1 comment

  • I’m so proud of what you and Mike are doing…how I wish there had been a YipYap when my boys were 10! Keep up the good work! God has blessed you greatly!

    Carol Frick

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